Blue #2

Sometimes you can see a peculiar kind of blue in Accrington. You can normally see it when the sun goes down behind the hill where the former NORI brickworks use to be. (It’s now a new housing estate.) The afterglow spreads over Accrington Stanley’s ground, and then casts a peculiar blue green light into the back room of my parents’ house.

In the very early 1990s, on the dole and living back at my parents’ in Accrington, I began to draw and write in earnest, and in secret. I thought of applying to St Martins’, but couldn’t be arsed. The post ERM crash suited me. No jobs worth having in East Lancashire. Still: I needed a counterpoint to my friends’ exciting lives in dreamlike places like Bedford, Lutterworth or Chalfont St Peter. And, around 1993, London, where my more urbane mates ended up. I started to draw what it would be like to, you know, go there.

Then I would go to the corner shop and buy 4 cans of Trent Mild, and mixed salt and vinegar peanuts and salted crisps, and read the Acccrington Observer letters page and listen to BBC Radio 4.

The past is my playground.

Blue #1

Sometimes you can see a peculiar kind of blue in Accrington. You can normally see it when the sun goes down behind the hill where the former NORI brickworks use to be. (It’s now a new housing estate.) The afterglow spreads over Accrington Stanley’s ground, and then casts a peculiar blue green light into the back room of my parents’ house.

I still find it a remarkable light, something I haven’t seen anywhere else. I always found its appearance a very hopeful sign and – like the two Haitian angel/devil tin cats hanging on my wall – still draw on its presence.

In the very early 1990s, when I left Felling, I spent some time living back at my parents. Sometimes letters from friends, (whose lives seemed to be far more exciting, or at least much more dramatically, entertainingly, boring than mine) would summon up this blue light. Places like Bedford, Lutterworth or Chesterfield, Aberystwyth or Chalfont St Peter loomed large in the imagination. And, around 1993, London. A place seen only three times previously. And then in passing. I began to draw what London would be like, if I ever went.

The 1990s, where letters would stop and start amidships, beached by thoughts or sudden displays of emotion. A time when the World of Word Processor leaned like a sinister uncle over your shoulder.

The past is my playground.

Witchfinder Generals #3

Everyday, we feel the weight of the presence of the New Age of the Witchfinder Generals. Blinding everything with a cruel light. Projecting a grey film just behind our retinas. Photocopy and use these images as charms against their powers.

I Never Tell Anybody Anything #3

A mini-series of posts dedicated to our Patron Saint, (somewhat slipped), Eddie B. Why should we tell each other anything anyway? What’s the point? Every time we do, things just get worse.

Witchfinder Generals #2

We switch on our devices and see the New Age of the Witchfinder Generals. Perched on their glass thrones. Photocopy and use these images as charms against their powers.

Witchfinder Generals #1

All hail the New Age of the Witchfinder Generals. Wrapp’d in a cloak of goblinned code. Photocopy and use these images as charms against their powers.

I Never Tell Anyone Anything #2

A mini-series of posts dedicated to our Patron Saint, (somewhat slipped), Eddie B. Why should we tell each other anything anyway? Our emotions are being turned into clean code. Very soon we will be shared to death.

Our Visions Became Laden With Willow-Wept Grief

To the people of the British Isles. Although these are times of great division and no little confusion. Remember, your greatest strength is your easygoing tricksiness. I have witnessed this at first hand in factories and at check-out counters. Keep it up.

Drawing my strength from Watkins, I bring balm in the form of two early 1990s photocopies, aligned on the Mill Hill-Felling leyline. A North Yorkshire spanner is thrown amidships, courtesy of some pre-Foot and Mouth sheep. Staring into the camera with a disinterested patience – and the countryside not caring.